An open letter to Deb Erika from someone who cares

Dear Erika:

I know, I know. It’s that time of year again. That self-punitive holiday tradition when you decide that in 2012 you are suddenly done with all the things you savored in 2011.

Now knowing you as I do, you’ll fight the temptation. Sure you will. You’ll decide you don’t “do” the resolution thing, that you did it for years and now at forty-one (I mean, twenty-nine) you have better things to do than make—let alone keep—New Year’s resolutions.

I beg to differ.

Now listen: I’m not talking about that box of Needhams your mom brought from Maine that you tore through like something NOAA should be tracking. I’m not even talking about that third glass of Shrub you said you really didn’t want but didn’t want to hurt your father’s feelings by not drinking. (Yeah, right.)

I’m talking about us, woman. You and me.

Now I’m not saying you don’t have room for improvement in larger life matters—heck, we all do—but I was hoping I might suggest a few alternative resolutions to the same ole, same ole as we ring in this new year together. Because while our relationship is strong, I’m not going to lie to you, sweetheart. It could stand a few adjustments.

For starters, you could seriously make a resolution not to use as many adverbs. I mean, please. The whole “smoke’em-if-you’ve-got’em” thing made sense for the Titanic, but there is absolutely no reason why you should go through adverbs like they’re in the 75% off bin. Easy, girl. Restraint is your friend. “Like” her.

I’ve also been wanting to talk to you about this thing you do where you try to start every scene with dialogue. It’s a fun technique, sure. But every scene? Variety is also your friend. Google her.

And while we’re on the subject of social media—is it too much to ask that you shut the *#@& internet off while you’re editing? I mean, how do you think it makes me feel when you and I are hot and heavy and the next thing I know you’ve switched screens to read your Snapfish spam?! I mean, Snapfish? Seriously? You leave me for Snapfish?

Now I don’t want you to think I don’t love you, or that I don’t feel good about where we’re heading—or where we’ve been. And I don’t want you to think this is all about you, God knows I could stand to lose a few thousand words myself after the holidays.

Call me crazy, but I just want our relationship to be stronger, Erika. I believe it can be. I know it can be.

With love,

Your novel


19 Replies to “An open letter to Deb Erika from someone who cares”

  1. Been trying to comment for 20 minutes – Twitter had me tied up for 3 minutes and then FaceBook got in my face. Word feels like the lonely old wife – with the traveling salesman husband. Not in 2012 – fresh words, new stories – Oh! Tweet from @JennyMcCarthy! – sigh…..

    1. Hi Kim! Gotta love that chug-chugging when the computer feels more asleep than we do!

      (I keep meaning to follow @JennyMcCarthy — I always love her tweets when you RT them!)

  2. I think my novel would write me the same kind of letter…. so I need to listen up! Social networking limits has to be right on the top of my list of resolutions — actually probably more of a goal — for the new year! Thanks for the humorous but very serious reminder of how to make my relationship stronger with my writing! (p.s. Snapfish has social networking… really? I need to check that out!)

    1. Good morning, Julia! Why do I suspect tuning off social media is at the top of all of our WIP’s top ten requested resolutions? And why do I suspect it will be the first one to break? It’s so hard to find that balance, isn’t it? As long as I’ve been on social media, I’ve struggled. But hey–two steps back, one step forward. Does that count as progress? 😉

    1. Hello, you sweet thing–do you think we should have our WIPs meet at the food court and gripe about us like teen children might do over their parents? (Do they even HAVE food courts anymore? Please tell me they do! I used to DREAM about Orange Juliuses…)

        1. Weren’t they THE BEST?! There was something about that foamy pale orange color. Now I’m craving one like crazy and I don’t even know if they still exist. Let alone where I could find one. Excuse me while I go Google my day away now 😉

  3. LOL! Oh, my. I think your WIP and my WIP would get along great. I can just see them now, sitting in a novel bar, knocking back drinks and commiserating about our bad writing habits. 😉

  4. Ha – this is so right on. And yeah, my WIP would like to join your party. Her current frustration is totally Twitter. And all the swear words that keep falling out of me. She is a teen, after all.

    Great post, Erika…er…Erika’s Novel (can’t wait to meet you, by the way).

    1. He he he…I just got the kindest, loveliest email from a reader and in it she mentioned the phrase “Oh, Monkey Balls!” which I’d never heard but could see putting in regular rotation. Just a suggestion if you’re looking to modify your current cursing catalog. (I think “Oh Monkey Balls!” is definitely PG stuff. I know I plan to use it excessively this year.)

  5. now, Snapfish. you have to just ignore Snapfish.
    but … to ThomHoneaWriter drops by, that is another story !!
    actually, it is a neat and witty post.
    and … happy new year.

    1. Happy New Year, lady! No question, WIPs have cornered the market on the hairy-eyeball. And the potty mouth on them too when they’re ignored is wicked. Doesn’t do a bit of good to bury them in a drawer either. I know, I’ve tried. 😉

  6. Your WIP should meet my WIP! They could join forces and really whip us into shape! They could be the hosts of a new show called “America’s Greatest Writer,” in which they tally word counts at the end of each week.

    Happy New Year to you!

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